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Complaints Process

Employees, former employees, and job applicant are protected under law from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, genetic information, or retaliation (the individual opposed employment discrimination, filed a complaint of discrimination, or participated in the EEO complaint process whether as the aggrieved or a witness). If you are an employee, former employee, or job applicant and you believe that you have been subject to discrimination, you have a right to file a complaint. EEO complaints have two different phases, the first is the informal process and the second is the formal process.

Informal EEO Complaints Process

You must contact your local EEO Office within 45 calendar days of the alleged discrimination, or within 45 calendar days of the date you were made aware of the matter or incident of alleged discrimination. At this time, the informal process begins and you will be assigned an EEO counselor. The counselor has 30 calendar days to conduct a limited inquiry into the allegations of discrimination and attempt to resolve the complaint. During the informal process, you can elect between traditional counseling and the Alternative Dispute Resolution process (ADR). If you elect ADR, your complaint will be extended not to exceed 90 calendar days. If the matter is not resolved during the informal process, a final interview will be conducted and you will be issued a Notice of Right to File a Discrimination Complaint. If you choose to file a formal complaint, the formal process will be initiated.

Formal EEO Complaints Process

A formal complaint must be filed within 15 calendar days of receipt of the Notice of Right to File a Discrimination Complaint. Once a formal complaint has been filed, the agency will review the complaint to determine if it should be accepted for investigation or dismissed for procedural reasons as outlined in 29 C.F.R. 1614.107. If the agency accepts the complaint for investigation, an investigator will be assigned. The investigation will be conducted within 180 calendar days from the date the formal complaint was filed. Once the investigation is complete, the agency will provide you a copy of the Report of Investigation and issue you a notice giving you the option to request a decision without a hearing, known as a Final Agency Decision, or to request a hearing before an EEOC Administrative Judge.

For additional information regarding the EEO complaints process, contact OED&I.